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When our natural resources are injured or destroyed, our quality of life, environment and economy suffer. That is why the Missouri Department of Natural Resources has dedicated its mission to protect our air, land and water; preserve our unique natural and historic places; and provide recreational and learning opportunities for everyone.

Our rivers, lakes, prairies and the aquatic life swimming in those waters; the air we breathe; the deer and other wildlife thriving in the woods; the water we drink; and those beautiful wildflowers are the natural resources that we cherish. If these resources are affected by a release of oil or a hazardous waste substance, the department looks for ways to fix that damage.

newDepartment of Natural Resources, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Forest Service release draft restoration plans and environmental assessments

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Forest Service, acting as trustees for Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration process, are seeking public input on draft restoration plans and environmental assessments for proposed restoration projects in two locations. Both projects are focused on restoring natural resources, including lost habitat, as a result of high concentrations of lead released from lead and zinc mining, milling and smelting facilities located in the Viburnum Trend Mining District of Southeast Missouri (Viburnum Trend) and in Herculaneum, Jefferson County, Missouri.

The trustees invite the public to learn about the plans during two informational public meetings:

  • Monday, March 2 from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Viburnum City Hall, 1 Missouri Ave. in Viburnum
  • Tuesday, March 3 from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Herculaneum City Hall, 1 Parkwood Ct. in Herculaneum

The Viburnum Trend is an active mining district within the Southeast Missouri Lead Mining District comprising 10 mines and related facilities centered in Reynolds and Iron counties. Historically, material mined in the Viburnum Trend was processed at the Buick and Glover smelters. Mining in the Viburnum Trend is ongoing and the district remains a major producer of heavy metals, including lead and zinc.

The Herculaneum Lead Smelter facility is a former smelter located in Herculaneum, adjacent to the confluence of the Mississippi River and Joachim Creek. The smelter continuously operated as a primary lead smelter from 1882 until 2013.

The trustees assessed contaminant-related injuries to natural resources, including surface water, sediment, aquatic organisms and migratory birds as part of the two restoration projects. The ultimate goal of the natural resource restoration process is to restore, replace, rehabilitate or acquire the equivalent of injured natural resources and resource services that have been lost due to the release of hazardous substances.    

Public participation is an important part of the natural resource restoration process and public comments on the draft restoration plans and environmental assessments are invite. Public comments will be accepted for 45 days following publication in the Federal Register. After the comment period closes, the trustees will review the comments and make changes as necessary. The draft restoration plan will be available for review online begining Feb. 20, 2020, at fws.gov/midwest/es/ec/nrda/SEMONRDA/index.html.

For more information on the draft restoration plan, or to sign up for updates, visit dnr.mo.gov/env/hwp/sfund/nrda.htm. For more information about the public meeting, contact Eric Gramlich or Hillary Wakefield at 573-751-3176 or missouriNRD@dnr.mo.gov.

People requiring special services or accommodations to attend the meeting can make arrangements by calling the department’s Environmental Remediation Program at 800-361-4827 or 573-751-3176. Hearing-impaired individuals may contact the program through Relay Missouri at 800-735-2966.

Department of Natural Resources and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service host public meeting for proposed restoration projects in St. Francois County

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, serving as Trustees for Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration, are seeking public input on the Draft Restoration Plan for St. Francois County “Bonehole” Park Expansion and Restoration and Borehole Closure and Restoration Program. The trustees invite the public to learn about the plan during an informational meeting from 6 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 18, at the Desloge City Hall, 300 N. Lincoln St. in Desloge.

The Bonehole Park Expansion project proposes glade and woodland restoration, invasive species control, native vegetation establishment and expansion and perpetual protection of the existing Bonehole County Park. The Borehole Closure and Restoration Program project will create a restoration program through the Soil and Water Conservation District to close and restore prospecting boreholes in priority areas of St. Francois County. Both projects will benefit surface water, stream sediments, floodplain soils, benthic organisms, migratory birds and their supporting ecosystems.

Public participation is an important part of the natural resource restoration process and public comments on the draft restoration plan are invited. Funding for the proposed restoration projects comes from a settlement with ASARCO, LLC for natural resource damages associated with the release of hazardous substances at the Federal Mine and Mill Complex in St. Francois County.

A copy of the draft restoration plan will be available for review starting Feb. 10 at fws.gov/midwest/es/ec/nrda/SEMONRDA/index.html.

For more information on the Draft Restoration Plan, or to sign up for updates, visit dnr.mo.gov/env/hwp/sfund/nrda.htm. For more information about the public meeting, contact Eric Gramlich or Hillary Wakefield at 573-751-3176 or missouriNRD@dnr.mo.gov.

People requiring special services or accommodations to attend the meeting can make arrangements by calling the department’s Environmental Remediation Program at 800-361-4827 or 573-751-3176. Hearing-impaired individuals may contact the program through Relay Missouri at 800-735-2966.

Draft Meramec Basin Feasibility Study Plan

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources serves as the state trustee for the assessment and restoration of natural resources injured by the release of hazardous substances. The department and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have partnered to study the Meramec and Big Rivers in St. Louis and Jefferson County to find cost effective methods and projects to restore the Big River system degraded by land use practices and releases of heavy metals from historic mining operations. A link is provided below to the draft plan on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers website.

Draft Meramec Basin Feasibility Study Plan


About the Natural Resource Damages Program

In 1998, the department established a Natural Resource Damages program. The director of the department is designated by the governor as the state natural resource trustee. In addition to state trustees, there are five federal trustees including the secretaries of the departments of Defense, Energy, Commerce, Interior and Agriculture. American Indian tribes are also designated trustees, but there are no state or federally recognized tribes within Missouri.

The core philosophy encompassing natural resource damages is that a state’s public lands, waters and living resources are held in “trust” for the benefit of the citizens of the state. Citizens have the right to use and enjoy natural resources and as a natural resource trustee, the department has the duty and responsibility to protect these resources. Natural resource trustees are tasked with determining the type and extent of injuries to natural resources and with restoring injured natural resources for public use.

There are several approaches to assessing and restoring injured natural resources. One approach is the cooperative-based restoration approach. This approach focuses on restoration with the trustees and responsible parties working together through cooperative assessment agreements. A second approach is settlement negotiations. Settlements should include the cost of restoring the natural resources; the cost of the lost use of the resources; and the cost incurred by the trustees to assess the injuries. If a settlement cannot be reached, the trustees can conduct a formal Natural Resource Damages assessment and proceed with litigation. Learn more about specific areas of the state with natural resource damages.

Agencies Release Draft Plan to Restore the Little St. Francis River Pile at the Madison County Mines Site, Madison County

Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration Planning Proposal for the Little St. Francis River Pile

The department and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, acting as trustees for natural resources, held an informational meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2016, to discuss the trustees’ proposal to restore natural resources at the Little St. Francis River Pile site in Fredericktown. The trustees propose to use American Smelting and Refining Company restoration funds to restore native floodplain forest at the former Little St. Francis River Pile mine site and adjacent area, a part of the larger Madison County Mines site. The draft proposal discusses how the city owned site will be restored to forest and protected following the completion of planned cleanup activities by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Planned restoration activities include tree planting, spraying for invasive species, monitoring the success of plantings and long-term protection of the site by the city of Fredericktown.

The public was invited to submit comments on this Restoration Planning Proposal. The Trustees accepted comments for a thirty day time period, from Oct. 25, 2016, through Nov. 23, 2016.

Send comments to: missouriNRD@dnr.mo.gov

Springfield and Kansas City Request for Proposal Projects

RFP Projects Awarded March 13, 2017: The Department of Natural Resources has awarded three projects in the Springfield and Kansas City areas. The department awarded $400,000 to the City of Springfield, $100,0000 to the Ozark Regional Land Trust and $500,000 to the Heartland Conservation Alliance and the City of Kansas City, MO. The groundwater restoration projects will benefit the James and Sac river watersheds as well as the Blue River or its tributaries.

Background: Thedepartment, as the Natural Resource Damages trustee, released two requests for proposal in September 2016 to fund groundwater restoration in the Kansas City and Springfield areas. The first RFP would fund applicants up to $500,000 toward implementation of successful compensatory groundwater restoration projects in the Springfield area that would benefit the James and Sac River watersheds. The second RFP would fund applicants up to $500,000 toward implementation of successful compensatory groundwater restoration projects in the Kansas City region that would benefit the Blue River or its tributaries. The targeted programs and projects will compensate for groundwater resources injured by the release of hazardous substances associated with the former Kerr McGee facility in Springfield and Kansas City. These Requests for Proposals for compensatory groundwater restoration projects relate from recovered natural resource monetary damages through the former Kerr-McGee Corporation (Anadarko Petroleum Corporation) facilities in Missouri.

The department accepted project proposals as outlined in the RFPs from Sept. 3 through Oct. 3, 2016. The department hosted two webinars to answer questions regarding the RFPs on Sept. 9, 2016.

MoDNR Question and Answer Responses to Springfield RFP Submittals - 9/15/16

Springfield Request for Groundwater Restoration Proposals

Kansas City Request for Groundwater Restoration Proposals

Missouri State Groundwater Restoration Plan

Learn more about NRD Groundwater Restoration Planning


Southeast Missouri Natural Resource Damages

Learn more about NRD in southeast Missouri


Southwest Missouri Natural Resources Damages

Learn more about NRD in southwest Missouri


Natural Resource Damages Agreements and Quality Assurance

 

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